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Posts Tagged ‘för att’

För, för att, därför att and eftersom

Monday, April 16th, 2012

Hej alla!

I just received a question about conjunctions on my Facebook page. I thought the answer would be of interest for many of you Swedish students out there. The question is:

Here’s a doozy: so many ways to say “because”. Can you give examples of the difference in kinds of sentences that determine whether you use “för att” eller “eftersom” antingen bara “för” eller “ty”? också finns det “emedan”, “då”. . .

I’m going to do my best to straighten out these words for you :)

Därför att

”Därför att” is simply a subordinating conjunction that answers the question “why?”  Let us take a look at an example of how “därför att” might be used:

Anders stannade hemma från jobbet därför att han inte mådde bra.

(Anders stayed home because he didn’t feel well.)


“Eftersom” is also a conjunction that we can use when answering the question “why?” “Eftersom” has the same meaning and use as “därför att” and he only difference is that “eftersom” can be placed in the beginning of the sentence, when we choose to put the subordinate clause first.  “Eftersom” is sometimes translated to “since”.  Here is one example of how we can use  ”eftersom”:

Anders stannade hemma från jobbet eftersom han inte mådde bra.

(Anders stayed home since he didn’t feel well.)

We might also begin with “eftersom” and have the following word order:

Eftersom Anders inte mådde bra stannade han hemma från jobbet.

(Since Anders didn’t feel well, he stayed home.)

”Därför att”, on the other hand, cannot be put in the beginning of a sentence. If you want to begin your sentence with “because”, you have to choose “eftersom” instead of “därför att”.

Då and emedan

“Då” and “emedan” have the same meaning as “därför att” and “eftersom” but are used in more formal language.


För is a conjunction that links two independent clauses (“huvudsatser” in Swedish). “För” is synonymous with “därför att” and “eftersom” but can only connect independent clauses. Here’s an example:

Peter stannade hemma, för han var sjuk.

It doesn’t look much different when we don’t have a sentence adverb (inte, aldrig, alltid, kanske etc). Let me through in a sentence adverb and you’ll see the difference in the sentence construction.

With “för”: Peter stannade hemma, för han mådde inte bra.

With “därför att”: Peter stannade hemma därför att/eftersom han inte mådde bra.


“Ty” is synonymous with “för” but is used in formal, preferrably written, language.

För att

“För att” is another conjunction starting a subordinate clause (”bisats” in Swedish) when you want to express “in order to” or “with the intention to”. Here are a couple of examples that hopefully will illustrate what I mean:

Jag steg upp tidigt i morse för att jag skulle komma i tid till arbetet.

(I got up early this morning so that I would come to work on time.)

Göran tog på sig mössa och handskar för att han inte skulle frysa.

(I put on a hat and gloves so I wouldn’t be cold.)

It’s also good to know that you don’t have to repeat the subject in the subordinate clause in this type of sentence. Our examples above would then look like this:

Jag steg upp tidigt i morse för att komma i tid till arbetet.

Göran tog på sig mössa och handskar för att inte frysa.

Have fun learning Swedish and don’t forget to post questions!

Sara the Swedish Teacher

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What about “att”?

Thursday, October 20th, 2011


Jag är tillbaka! 😉

Many times it seems like the small words are the ones that caus the most confusion. Another problem that can be extra tricky for a Swedish language student is, “att”. In Swedish we use “att” for everything and anything it seems like, so today I wanted to share with you a few common ways to use “att”.

“Att” as an infinite marker

First of all “att” has the function of infinitive marker (på svenska “infinitivmarkör”) when a verb is in infinitive form like in “att läsa” to read.

Det är roligt att läsa.

(It’s fun to read.)

“att läsa” is also used when you say in English, “reading” like this:

Att läsa är roligt.

(Reading is fun.)

Det är svårt att uttala “ö”.

(It’s difficult to pronounce, “ö”.)


Att uttala “ö” är svårt.

(Pronouncing, “ö” is difficult.)

“Att” meaning “that”

When creating so called indirect speech you use, “att” in Swedish when you would say in English, “that”. This is probably one of the first, “bisatsinledare/bisatsord” or subjunction that your Swedish teacher will tell you about. We use, “att” when we refer to what a third party is saying, wondering, wishing  etc.

Han säger att det är kallt ute.

(He says/is saying that it’s cold outside.)

Hon undrar om hon får titta i sitt lexikon under provet.

(She wonders/is wondering if she can look in her dictionary during the test.)

Att in the subjunction “därför att”

We also find, “att” in the subjunction “därför att” which means “because”. If we begin the subordinate clause (bisats) with, “därför att” it will explain the reason of what is going in the independent clause (huvudsats).

Daniel vill gifta sig med Åsa därför att han älskar henne.

(Daniel wants to marry Åsa because he loves her.)

“Att” in the subjunction “för att”

“För att” looks very similar to, “därför att” and what is even more frustrating to someone learning Swedish is that the two often are pronounced almost exactly the same! Many Swedes (probably myself included) say something like, “f’ratt” for both “därför att” and “för att”. Listen carefully out there and you will hear it :) They do have different meanings. Whilst “därför att” means, “because”, “för att” means, “in order to”. We have a main clause and a subordinate clause with a conjunction joining the two. Where the subordinate clause begins with, “för att” the subordinate clause explains the reason for what’s happening in the main clause.

Agneta bantar för att bli smal.

(Agneta is on a diet (in order) to become skinny.)

Now compare the example above to how we use “därför att”:

Agneta bantar därför att hon känner sig tjock.

(Agneta is on a diet because she feels chubby.)

Well that was all for today. I hope everyone is having fun learning Swedish :) Please post questions if you have any!

Sara the Swedish Teacher

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